Fry the courgettes until just coloured
To make two of these darlings you shall require
2 gutted and de-gilled fresh trout (I had got these from our local fish monger as I havn't found the local fish ponds yet.
1 handful of mixed chopped fresh herbs (we have a garden full) the choice is yours
zest of a bio lemon
The juice of half of it
and 2 slices from the other half
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 shallot diced
2 tsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 tsp course salt
1/2 tsp celery salt
chop the herbs
Crush the garlic with the course sea salt and celery salt
Add the herbs
add the olive oil
add the zest of the lemon
and the juice of half of it, add the shallot and mix well
Fill the cavity and cut slits both sides and smear with the herb paste
oil some thick foil
Place a bay leaf and slice of lemon on top and seal the parcel, make sure it is well sealed
Now make your Mediterranean vegetable bake
you shall require:
1 large Aubergine
1 large sweet onion
1 red pepper
1 clove of garlic
2 good handfuls of sweet cherry tomatoes
Soften the onions in a little olive oil, chop a clove of garlic and crush in the motar that you used before
Fry the courgettes until just coloured
Place the courgettes in a pyrex bowl and top with the onions and garlic
Soften the peppers and add ontop of the onions
Dry off the aubergine slices and cut each slice into three and fry in olive oil until just coloured
Quarter and deseed the tomatoes, fry in the same pan as the rest of the veg and then place on top of the other vegetables
Lid on and into a moderate oven for 30 to 40 minutes, I like my vegetables a bit firm so 30 minutes does me. The longer you cook the more they will turn into a stew.
Minted tomato Cous-cous with black olives
You shall require
1 cup of fine cous-cous
2 cups of boiling vegetable stock
2 tsp of tomato paste
1 small handful of chopped pitted black olives
6-7 leaves of chopped fresh mint
Boil your stock, add the cous-cous, stir in the tomato paste, turn of the heat and allow the cous-cous to absorb all of the stock. Then add the olives and the mint, mix well and cover until required. This can be served cold as well as warm.
Black pitted olives and chopped mint
Remove the vegetables from the oven and place the fish in the middle shelf at 200°C until cooked (15-20 minutes but the best way is to open a parcel after 15 minutes and tug at the dorsel fin if it comes out clean and easy they are ready, do not over cook the fish, that is a terrible traversty.
The finished meal
Remove from the foil
Serve with the cous-cous and vegetables, there will be loads of nice tasty juices
A perfectly cooked trout en-papilotte
Enjoy it, we did, it is the easiest way to cook fish, though you do not get a crisp skin and in fact is glibbery and I find quite inedible, the taste of wonderful paste will have permiated through out the fish and also a smashing sauce will have formed in the parcel to dip your slices of fresh baguette into.
The Spring BBQ, house warming and 65th Birthday Party
This bit of a knees up had been in the planning for a couple of months and so with great expectations we went for the open-air, outdoor option, with a BBQ and also a bit of oven cooking as well. We had originally thought about a totally Turkish event, but then when the menu planning and then buying of the victuals’ we decided that the pork neck steaks and spare ribs did look very nice.
But I went along the road of making my own Kofta buying the mixed mince (lamb and beef) from the local Turkish butcher (we have found a very good one in the centre of the Altstadt in Lübeck), we also bought a very nice leg of lamb and some mutton chops, yes real mutton chops, I haven’t seen those for many a long year.
We also bought the chicken legs (Linda insists that “the girls like chicken”, that means, “she likes chicken”).
So without further ado lets get on with making then Kofta.
I had read various recipes for Kofta both online and in Turkish and other
East Mediterranean cook books. I
then went my own way. So to do it my way you shall require:
20 soaked kebab skewers (I used the bamboo satay ones)
1 kg of mince 50% lamb, 50% beef
3 medium onions diced fine
3 cloves of garlic crushed through a garlic press
1 tbsp of chopped mixed fresh herbs (I used parsley, mint and coriander in proportions of 50% - 30%- 20%, keep the stalks)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp of tomato puree
1 tbsp of Cig Kofta Baharat spices (buy in any Turkish grocery store)
2 tsp of cardamom powder
2 tsp of dried oregano
2 tsp of Marigold vegetable powder
2 tsp chilli flakes (you can use fresh but we brought some back with us from out Turkish Hols)
Put the mince into a large bowl, and add the garlic and onion and give it a good mixing, I always think that it is best done by squeezing it through your well scrubbed pinkies. When the garlic and onion is well blended add the chopped herbs and again work it in with your hands. Add the lemon juice and tomato puree and again mix well, next add the Kofta spices and then the cardamom, dried oregano and marigold powder. Give it all a good mixing before finally adding the chilli flakes, next heat some oil in a frying pan and make a small patty and fry it, this is to test the seasoning, as once made that’s your lot. We tasted and the general consensus was it could take a bit more lemon a touch more chilli, so we upped the lemon by another ½ tsp and the chilli by 1 tsp. Fried another patty and then covered and put into the fridge to allow the herbs and spices to do their work.
About ½ hr before ready to BBQ, I formed the Kofta into the traditional cigar shape around the skewers, put onto an oven tray, covered and put back into the fridge until needed.
Grilled Mutton Chops
While at the Turkish butchers, I enquired about lamb chops, pointing at a pile of chops in the chilled counter, he said that those were mutton chops but he could cut me some lamb ones, I replied no way, give me the 20 mutton ones (I much prefer the taste of mutton to lamb, but it is almost impossible to get in Germany).
So I sprinkled them with some Turkish lamb spices that we had, yes you guessed it, brought back from out Turkish holidays. Chopped some mint and sage and sprinkled this on them making sure it went on both sides drizzled them in olive oil and lemon juice. These I layered in a pyrex bowl until all the chops were used up. Lid on and into the fridge to await to great event.
Slow roasted Oriental spiced leg of lamb
1 leg of lamb (ours was just over 2kg)
2 cloves of garlic cut into 20 slivers
20 sprigs of rosemary
20 pieces of anchovy filets
2 tbsp of Turkish lamb spices
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot diced
2 slices of celeriac diced
1 small leek cut into rings
1 large onion diced
2 cloves of garlic crushed
The squeezed lemons that you used for the Kofta
The herb stalks kept over from the Kofta
2 Ltr of made up marigold stock
If the leg still has the shank attached get the butcher to saw this off, it will make a great slow cooked meal. Cut any excess fat off, with a small sharp knife cut small slits in the leg (about 12 on the meatier side and 8 on the other side). Insert a piece of anchovy, a piece of garlic and a sprig of rosemary into each of the slits. Sprinkle it all over with the lamb spices and sprinkle it with the olive oil, rub it well into the leg.
Add the root vegetables into the base of a deep roasting pan along with the lemons, herb stalks and stock into the roasting pan,
place the leg on top and turn the oven up full. When it reaches top heat place the roasting pan into the oven and brown it all over. Turn the heat down to about 150°C cover with a layer of heavy duty foil (or 2 layers of normal) and cook for a good 2 hours checking at regular intervals and add more liquid as and when required. The meat will be falling off the bone and succulent, carve it from the shin end to the thigh in thick slices. Pour the liquid out of the roasting pan through a sieve into a saucepan and skim off the excess fat that rises to the top, boil down to make a thick rich lemony sauce to serve along with it.
Serve with rosemary potatoes
Par-boil 2 kg of small new potatoes (or larger potatoes cut into bite size pieces), drain and pour into a roasting pan, sprinkle with olive oil, chopped rosemary and a good sprinkling of Salt and pepper. Place into a hot oven to brown and finish cooking.
And a warm green bean, tomatoes, onion salad.
1 kg of young green beans (topped and tailed, if you have a daughter handy get her to do this)
2 large onions (diced)
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 large tin (800g) of diced tomatoes, you can used fresh ones but you would require a good kg and then skin, deseed and chop about 1 kg and as my daughter had had already topped and tailed the beans she may have been a bit peeved.
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tsp of chopped herbs (I used rosemary, thyme and oregano, but the choice is yours)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (I used chilli sea salt)
Boil the beans in plenty of boiling salted water, but just until they are a-la-dent (still got a bit of crunch) and strain. Heat 1 tbsp of oil and soften the onions (translucent) add the garlic and also fry briefly together, add the tomatoes and then the beans, mix well together and pour over the remainder of the olive oil add the chopped herbs. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, serve warm.
A few chopped black olives go very well with this, but as Janice had used these for the village salad, I didn’t have any left.
1 large cucumber Skinned, deseeded and chopped
1 red pepper cut into sticks
6 large tomatoes deseeded and chopped
1 large sweet onion chopped
2 pkts of sheep cheese (I used Bulgarian from ALDI)
1 handful of pitted black olives
1 handful of chopped parsley
1 tsp of oregano (fresh if you have it or dried if not)
A few leaves of basil ripped into pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp of red wine vinegar
Pepper and salt to taste
Mix the cucumbers, red peppers, tomatoes and onions together (I like a quite chunky salad), mix in the olives and cut the cheese into dice (there are some that will slice it and place it on top) and add this, mix the lemon juice and vinegar together with the herbs salt and pepper pour this over and mix well (I find that if the cheese breaks up it adds to the taste).
Lemon Chicken legs
10 chicken drumsticks (the bottom parts, that are about 3 bite sizes)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp course sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Place the chicken legs in a bowl. Mix the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper together in a small jug. Pour over the legs and rub in well, place on a shallow baking dish, pouring over any remaining marinade, cover and allow to stand in a cool place (refrigerator) for about an hour. Remove from the refrigerator and place in the oven and bake at 180°C until cooked through, turning regularly and ladling over the juices from the bottom of the dish. You can either stop before they take on colour and finish off on the BBQ or turn up the heat and brown in the oven (this is what we done as space on the BBQ was at a premium.
Linda had made a vanilla cream sauce, it should have been a pudding but didn’t set, but went well with the defrosted (last years harvest) black berries, gently warmed through with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a splash of port.
Our cookery club and friends had decided, nay been instructed to bring desserts, and they really did go to town, we had a fantastic Tiramisu, poached pears, poached rhubarb, raspberry torte, the recipes for these shall follow later.
I had been very lucky and got 1 case (12 bottles) of very fine red wine from friends that because of ill health couldn’t come to the party but never the less sent the case per post, thanks Marga and Ewald. Added to this was 6 bottles of Portuguese Weissherbst, 6 bottles of Pinot Grigio, 6 bottles of Sekt (German sparkling wine) and 6 bottles of prosecco (the girls like this, or so Linda said)
We had also got in 20 Ltr of beer in 5 Ltr barrels (Krombacher), a dozen bottles of Hefe Weizenbier. We now have a drinks cabinet that is full to over flowing, so we shall not need to buy any replenishments for the foreseeable future.
I think all had a great time even though the weather was terrible and I BBQ’d on the balcony and used the kitchen almost to its full potential (just need to get the second oven running). We also had a great evening watching the European football final, pity about the result.
The Kikoklu, Janice, Heike and Birte also had a full British breakfast on Sunday morning before departing for Kiel and in the case of Janice Berlin, that was ever so nice, very traditional, bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, black pudding, baked beans (Heinz of course), grilled tomatoes and sautéed mushrooms. Fresh coffee and/or tea, toast, orange marmalade (sorry Kalle if I had known I would have asked you to bring some of “your” own make).
So that was our House Warming and my 21st oops I mean my 65th Birthday all rolled into one. Pity the weather could not have stayed nicer, but you can't have every thing in life, well not all at once, we had good food, good beer, good wine and most of all great guests.